Hume Council could play role in housing crisis

HUME Council buildings may be used to house people seeking crisis accommodation.
Nanjing Night Net

At a meeting last week, Cr Geoff Porter recommended that council officers investigate whether council buildings could provide suitable accommodation for Hume’s homeless.

Fellow councillors agreed that a report should be provided to the council, outlining whether this is possible.

Emergency or crisis accommodation is provided by government-funded agencies or charities. It can be due to domestic violence situations, eviction or family and relationship breakdown.

“It’s been really cold of late and I know that the homeless [have a] need for emergency accommodation in the area,” Cr Porter said.

“I don’t want Hume to be the parent, but I see a number of council facilities that are used at different times.

“We might be able to arrange some type of assistance for people in need.”

Hume has no emergency accommodation.

Cr Helen Patsikatheodorou supported Cr Porter’s request, saying the move could take pressure off local housing services.

“I know that although council doesn’t provide accommodation and we’re not in the business of providing housing, council may have some buildings that may be appropriate,” she said.

The Glenroy Hub is one service in Hume that helps people find emergency and transitional housing. Manager Tony Clarke says about 80 people each week use the service to find emergency accommodation.

“I think it’s a great idea to investigate this,” Mr Clarke said.

“The question is in terms of logistics to find if buildings need to be renovated, who will run and staff them.

“With emergency housing you do need some sort of set-up, with after-hours work and work during the day to make sure it’s functioning.”

Mr Clarke said people who required emergency accommodation were put temporarily in motels.

“We do cover the cost initially, but the client needs to locate permanent housing options.”